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Gregg Popovich says LeBron has been able to tune out critics

Oct 22, 2012, 9:53 AM EDT

LeBron James AP

You don’t like LeBron James. You still go into the comments on this blog or talk radio shows and slam him every chance you get. You boo him when he comes to the arena in your town. Your opinion seemed echoed throughout the media.

Two years ago that bothered LeBron. He admitted he didn’t like being the villain and it impacted his game.

But none other than Gregg Popovich says what really became clear last playoffs — LeBron has blocked it all out. From the Miami Herald.

“He’s so good already,” Popovich said. “We all know what his skills are. He’s a great passer, he can rebound, he can defend. But I think, if anything, he is maturing mentally in the sense that he is enjoying playing the game. He doesn’t listen to talking heads anymore — or a lot less than when he first came in the league.”

LeBron pretty much confirmed that.

“Pop knows what he’s talking about. That’s why he’s one of the best to ever coach this game.”

It’s good to see those two have a respectful relationship because they could be the keys to the USA winning another gold medal in the Rio Olympics in four years… but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

As for LeBron, what Popovich said is pretty clearly the case. LeBron has matured and that is allowing him to better take advantage of all those skills he has always had. He’s better now than ever. And that should scare the rest of the league.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Uh oh, I’m sensing a “LeBron Taking his Talents to the Alamo” column on PBT coming soon.

  2. cantonbound13 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    How can a person that some clueless people call the greatest player of all time have so many critics? I don’t remember Michael having that problem.

    • doorharp11 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      I blame it on the media bc jordan didnt have the tabloids in there face bc the fans didnt care about the crap they care about now. Jordan was great but if you are telling me if jordan was playing today in his first few years he would have been ripped worse than lebron bc lebron made it to 3 title games before jordan got to his first. Jordan is great and with time Lebron is and will be better!

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      MJ had exactly that problem. His selfish play and alpha male domination of his teammates/coaches led to a parade of criticism. The Bulls lost to the Pistons three straight years in the playoffs and nobody thought MJ could be a team player. Phil Jackson broke through Jordan’s enormous ego and immense success & laud ensued. LeBron faces a different type of criticism but both had a rough early career.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Three words: In Ter Net

  4. isujames - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    @^^^ He’s good but who’s calling him the greatest?

  5. hwatt - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    well, I hated how he left a team he took the FINALS… but now after remembering the Bulls were still a great team w/o Mike during the baseball retirement, compared with how Cleveland did nothing at all w/o Lebron… maybe he saw he was never going to get a true supporting cast in Cleveland.

    Now part of me wants to see if he can match/exceed the 6-ring mark. I don’t think he bounces to the Lakers though.. too much man-love in the Miami Heat organization to walk away from.

  6. raycharlesj - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    You see when they talk about Lebron it’s just criticism when they talk about Jeremy Lin??? You are a Racist!!!!!!!

  7. rocirius - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    If he ever leaves the Heat, he will go to the most storied franchise in NBA history, the Boston Celtics. As long as they keep Rondo and Doc.

    • phaden27 - Oct 22, 2012 at 7:08 PM

      You need to put down the 4-leaf clover pipe my friend.

  8. rocirius - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    If he leaves the Heat, he will go to the most storied franchise in NBA history, the Boston Celtics– as long as they still have Rondo and Doc.

  9. misterdreamer119 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Lebron in green sounds awesome but i doubt it.

  10. badintent - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    How about Pops and LBJ hook up ? And shine the NBA gold ball for 3-4 years in a row! You know that to be true,The big Fundamental , Parker, Manu and James ? Lights out Fakers. Keep making movies, your team is rated PG as in pretty good , not great.

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